Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bernard Berenson & Peter Lorre LOVE New York-


- Antiques Beach Reading (Yes, That’s Right): "When told with enough four-letter words and forensic research, the back stories of antiques can make for the kind of nonfiction thrillers that publishers save up for summer release. One of this year’s page turners, David Howard’s “Lost Rights: The Misadventures of a Stolen American Relic” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), tracks the covert travels of North Carolina’s copy of the Bill of Rights. Mr. Howard, an editor at Bicycling magazine, explains that, in 1789, a state clerk tucked the document into the files, where it stayed until a Union soldier looted the place in 1865...." read more-

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June 26, 1865 - Bernard Berenson, American art historian specializing in the Renaissance, was born. "Among US collectors of the early 1900s, Berenson was regarded as the pre-eminent authority on Renaissance art. His verdict of authenticity increased a painting's value. While his approach remained controversial among European art historians and connoisseurs, he played a pivotal role as an advisor to several important American art collectors, such as Isabella Stewart Gardner, who needed help in navigating the complex and treacherous market of newly fashionable Renaissance art. In this respect Berenson's influence was enormous, while his 5% commission made him a wealthy man.

Through a secret agreement in 1912, Berenson enjoyed a close relationship with Joseph Duveen, the period's most influential art dealer, who often relied heavily on Berenson's opinion to complete sales of works to prominent collectors who lacked knowledge of the field. Berenson was quiet and deliberating by nature, which sometimes caused friction between him and the boisterous Duveen. Their relationship ended on bad terms in 1937 after a dispute over a painting, the Allendale Nativity (a.k.a. the Adoration of the Shepherds now at the National Gallery in Washington), intended for the collection of Samuel H. Kress. Duveen was selling it as a Giorgione, but Berenson believed it to be an early Titian. The painting is now widely considered to be a Giorgione. Beside assisting Duveen, Berenson also consulted for other important art dealerships, such as London's Colnaghi and, after his breakup with Duveen, New York's Wildenstein.

As Renaissance scholarship has evolved, a number of Berenson's attributions are now believed to be incorrect. There is also ongoing speculation as to whether some of these misattributions were deliberate, since Berenson often had a considerable financial stake in the matter. Due to the strong subjective element in connoisseurship, such accusations remain hard to either disprove or substantiate."

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June 26, 1904: Actor Peter Lorre was born. "Peter Lorre (26 June 1904 – 23 March 1964) was an Austrian-American actor frequently typecast as a sinister foreigner. He caused an international sensation in 1931 with his portrayal of a serial killer who preys on little girls in the German film M. Later he became a popular featured player in Hollywood crime films and mysteries, notably alongside Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet, and as the star of the successful Mr. Moto detective series.

Lorre was born as László Löwenstein into a Jewish family in Austria-Hungary. He began acting on stage in Vienna at the age of 17, where he worked with Richard Teschner, then moved to Breslau, and Zürich. The German-speaking actor became famous when Fritz Lang cast him as a child killer in his 1931 film M. When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Lorre took refuge first in Paris and then London where he was noticed by Ivor Montagu, Alfred Hitchcock's associate producer for The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), who reminded the director about Lorre's performance in M.

Eventually, Lorre went to Hollywood where he specialized in playing wicked or wily foreigners, beginning with Mad Love (1935), directed by Karl Freund. He starred in a series of Mr. Moto movies, a parallel to the better known Charlie Chan series, in which he played a Japanese detective and spy created by John P. Marquand. He did not much enjoy these films — and twisted his shoulder during a stunt in Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation — but they were lucrative for the studio and gained Lorre many new fans. In 1940, Lorre co-starred with fellow horror actors Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff in the Kay Kyser movie You'll Find Out. Lorre enjoyed considerable popularity as a featured player in Warner Bros. suspense and adventure films. Lorre played the role of Joel Cairo in The Maltese Falcon (1941) and portrayed the character Ugarte in the film classic Casablanca (1942). Lorre demonstrated a gift for comedy in the role of Dr. Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace (filmed in 1941, released 1944). In 1946 he starred with Sydney Greenstreet and Geraldine Fitzgerald in Three Strangers, a suspense film about three people who are joint partners on a winning lottery ticket.

A story is told that in 1956, both Lorre and Vincent Price attended Bela Lugosi's funeral. According to Price, Lorre asked him "Do you think we should drive a stake through his heart just in case?"

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June 26, 1929: Graphic designer Milton Glaser was born. "Milton Glaser (born June 26, 1929 in New York City) is a graphic designer, best known for the I Love New York logo,] his "Bob Dylan" poster, the "DC bullet" logo used by DC Comics from 1977 to 2005, and the "Brooklyn Brewery" logo. He also founded New York Magazine with Clay Felker in 1968.

In 1954 Glaser was a founder, and president, of Push Pin Studios formed with several of his Cooper Union classmates. Glaser's work is characterized by directness, simplicity and originality. He uses any medium or style to solve the problem at hand. His style ranges wildly from primitive to avant garde in his countless book jackets, album covers, advertisements and direct mail pieces and magazine illustrations. He started his own studio, Milton Glaser, Inc, in 1974. This led to his involvement with an increasingly wide diversity of projects, ranging from the design of New York Magazine, of which he was a co-founder, to a 600 foot mural for the Federal Office Building in Indianapolis.

Throughout his career he has had a major impact on contemporary illustration and design. His work has won numerous awards from Art Directors Clubs, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Society of Illustrators and the Type Directors Club. In 1979 he was made Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and his work is included in the Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Israel Museum and the Musee de l'affiche in Paris. Glaser has taught at both the School of Visual Arts and at Cooper Union in New York City. In 2009, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama."

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